A Playlist for Teaching With Halberstam’s “What’s That Smell?”

I’m teaching the last chapter of Halberstam’s In A Queer Time And Place, the chapter on queer music subcultures. I’m more interested in the music part than the subculture parts (the sounds more than the ethnography or critical geography or whatever you wanna call it). How do sounds and compositional structures and musical practices create a space that is pleasurable for queer people, queerly pleasurable? That’s the main question I want to think about. If Halberstam can say that the metaphysical categories “time” and “space” can be queer, organized queerly, then what about more simple phenomena like sound, music, and aural/musical pleasure?

I’m not going to get too descriptive or analytical–at least not yet. I’m mainly writing this list to draw from when I teach next week. But maybe I’ll come back and put some commentary in after class. The main thing is that because this playlist is meant to compliment the Halberstam reading, it starts with songs that are relatively contemporary to that book.

Peaches, “Boys Wanna Be Her” (2006)

Chicks On Speed, “Mind Your Own Business” (2004)

Chicks On Speed feat. Peaches, “We Don’t Play Guitar” (2006)

Lesbians On Ecstasy, “Pants Into The Sun” (2006) [And, uh, did LMFAO steal that video concept?]

Le Tigre, “Deceptacon” (2004) (and DFA Remix)

MEN, “Who Am I To Feel So Free?” (2011)

Zebra Katz, “Ima Read” (2012)

Yo Majesty, “Club Action” (2008)

bottoms, “My Body” (2015); here they play a live set. We need to think them in relation to Conchita’s resilience.

Black Fag, “TV Party

B-52s, “Channel Z

Vjuan Allure feat. Purple Crush, “Wherkk” (2015)

Kevin Aviance, “Din Da Da” (1997)

Decon/Recon “#1” (2015)